The Azerbaijani State Commission on POWs, the missing and hostages has recently presented its final report of 2008, in which it has particularly mentioned that 39 Azerbaijanis are allegedly in captivity in Nagorno Karabakh.
The NKR State Commission on POWs, the missing and hostages qualifies this message as a regular disinformation, aimed at discrediting the NKR authorities, and as an attempt to mislead the international community. The NKR State Commission declares with responsibility that there are no POWs and hostages in the territory, being under the jurisdiction of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic.
The NKR authorities, strictly following the principles of the Geneva conventions, after the military phase of the conflict with Azerbaijan, have repatriated all the hostages to the Azerbaijani party, via the intermediary of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC). At present, the NKR corresponding bodies timely inform the offices of the ICRC and OSCE accredited in Stepanakert of any fact of the Azerbaijani servicemen’s and civilians’ desertion to Karabakh, who are later repatriated to the Azerbaijani authorities without any precondition. Representatives of the mentioned international organizations have free access to all the institutions of detention, which rules out the possibility of hiding the fact of the Azerbaijani hostages’ being in the NKR territory.
The NKR State Commission draws attention to the fact that repeated suggestions of the republic’s leadership to establish direct contacts with the analogous structure of Azerbaijan for solving the issue of POWs, the missing and hostages effectively, have not been given an adequate answer by official Baku. Moreover, the Azerbaijani authorities keep on politicizing such a humanitarian and sensitive issue as the searching of the missing and the release of hostages, for getting doubtful propaganda dividends. The recent fact of spreading the wittingly false information evidently testifies to this.